The true meaning of Ting Tong
So much to write and so little time; its 10 pm and Jo and I have just got in after another hectic day in Bangkok. I want to write a megablog but I also need to lie down and chill out...so I'll just include the highlights of today.
We had a very amusing lunch with Jim Short, the political Secretary at the British Embassy today. Poor Jim was subjected to Jo's usual barrage of questions - How old are you, how long have you been here, where is your wife from, do you earn much, what size are your shoes??? (is she mildly autistic I wonder? - but still managed to be a paragon of charm and British cynicism. Thanks Jim for your words of wisdom and amazing tolerance to the Spanish Inquisition.
Having had lunch with Jim we eventually got in touch with Mrs Fall, the British Ambassador David Fall's wife. She, and her husband, have very kindly agreed to let the Tukathon begin at the Embassy on Sunday morning and Nuttanee, their press officer, is going to rustle up some press interest. Hopefully some of the Thai press will have nothing better to do than wave off a pair of 'Ting Tong' farang in a pink tuk tuk.
Which leads me to my next point. We've discovered that Ting Tong infact means 'crazy' or 'nuts' in Thai. Whilst we were careful to ascertain that it didn't mean some vile Mandarin obscenity, we omitted to check its Thai meaning. Oh well, it seems quite fitting really. Although, when our tuk tuk driver last night laughed, and exclaimed 'ting tong' whilst gesturing at a blatanty mentally unhinged individual banging a stick against a tree, we did begin to wonder whether we might be creating the wrong impression.
As for Ting Tong herself. Well, she's PINK, hot PINK. And she really is the most rocking tuk tuk in the world. We got a bit of a shock upon arriving at Anuwat's factory on Monday morning to find a bevvy of Anuwat's workers swarming round her and no roof, seats or wiring. But they've done wonders and tomorrow she's ready for us to test drive. We later learnt that Anuwat thought we were leaving NEXT Sunday, not this one, hence the uber-chilled approach to finishing her. Anuwat is a diamond though, and has been giving Jo and I the five star treatment, chauffering us around sticky Bangkok and kitting out Ting Tong to perfection, down the the latest MP3 player.
Tomorrow morning its breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel then a visit to the Laos Embassy to get our visas, then mechanical training at the factory in the afternoon. We've also managed to find a cameraman to come and help us out with the filming so they'll be with us for the next few days capturing the action.
More news and schnews tomorrow....